Does chlamydia cause ED?
Some men with chlamydia infection experience difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, which is commonly called erectile dysfunction. This difficulty occurs when chlamydia infects the prostate gland, causing prostatitis.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can cause long-term health issues. Many people with chlamydia have no symptoms and are oblivious that they have the infection. Untreated chlamydia can lead to:
- chronic prostatitis in men, causing pain and erectile dysfunction (ED)
- an increased risk of getting HIV
- permanent infertility in women and a painful condition called pelvic inflammatory disease
Chlamydia can infect the prostate, causing prostatitis, which can lead to ED. If chlamydia enters the genital tract, it can spread to close organs. In males, chlamydia bacteria can infect the tube that carries sperm out of the body called the urethra. The bacteria can travel through the urethra to the prostate gland.
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If the prostate becomes infected and irritated, it may curb the flow of blood to the penis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that chlamydia can spread to a sexual partner, even when a male does not ejaculate during sexual intercourse.
Symptoms of Chlamydia
Chlamydia often causes no symptoms. In some people, symptoms appear several weeks after the initial infection. When chlamydia does cause symptoms, they can include:
- a burning sensation when passing out urine
- discharge from the penis or vagina
- pain or swelling in the testicles
Chlamydia can indirectly cause ED. However, this does not mean that a person with ED necessarily has chlamydia or another STI.
Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for getting chlamydia. Practicing safe sex can prevent chlamydia by:
- using condoms or dental dams correctly every time they have sex
- only having sex with people who have been tested and treated for any STIs
- abstaining from vaginal, oral, and anal sex
Treatment for chlamydia and ED
A chlamydia test may involve a urine sample or a swab of the inside of the urethra. It is essential to discuss the diagnosis with any sexual partners, including past partners who may have contracted and spread the infection. Some clinics offer to call these past partners and inform them, without naming anyone involved.
Informing sexual partners about the diagnosis will help them to get tested and begin treatment to avoid more spread of the disease.
READ ALSO: All to Know about Chlamydia Infections
Antibiotics will be prescribed by a doctor to treat chlamydia. It is important to take all the antibiotics as prescribed. Failing to finish a full course may mean that some bacteria survive and cause another infection.
A complete course of antibiotics can cure the infection causing prostatitis, which may relieve ED symptoms.
Becoming infected with chlamydia multiple times is possible. Completing a course of treatment will clear up an infection, but it does not make a person immune to the infection.
Anyone diagnosed with chlamydia should avoid all sexual contact for 7 days after taking the single-dose antibiotic or while taking the 7-day treatment course.
Can other conditions cause ED?
Physical, psychological, and emotional factors can contribute to ED. Just a handful of the many health conditions that can cause it include:
Stress and certain medications can also cause ED, as can STI-related anxiety and discomfort.
When to see a doctor
A person with any of the following symptoms should seek medical advice:
- problems getting or keeping an erection
- burning during urination
- pain during sex
- discharge from the penis
- a rash in the genitalsRegular medical checkups and STI testing can help to prevent and treat erectile dysfunction and other problems resulting from chlamydia.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.